Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Valentine’s Day – Sowing The Seeds of Love

Kathleen Tuite


Tuesday 07 February 2017

The 14th of February, a day when it is traditional to send a card, often anonymously, to a person one is romantically involved with or attracted to. A day which generates millions in sales of cards, flowers, chocolates, and gifts. A day that has a long history dating back to the Romans, with little sight of cards or chocolates, but is now a day celebrated in countries worldwide. In some Latin American countries, Valentine's Day is known as "el día de los enamorados" (day of lovers).

In the United States, about 190 million Valentine's Day cards are sent each year, not including the hundreds of millions of cards school children exchange. Across Ireland and Europe sales of cards, flowers and chocolates rise similarly. But some countries take a different approach to Valentine’s Day; take Slovenia for example, where Saint Valentine or ‘Zdravko’ was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims. A Slovenian proverb says that “Saint Valentine brings the keys of roots”, plants and flowers start to grown on this day.


So what does Valentine’s Day actually mean to children? This is a question we may ask, and down through the years we have seen and maybe even been part of rolling out adult-led craft based activities to young children, in the hope of introducing the children to the colour red. Perhaps even encouraging children to get ‘creative’, by painting red love hearts, making cards, sticking and gluing, and baking heart shaped cookies.

Which prompted me to ask some pre-school children about what Valentine’s Day means for them; below are the comments from some of the children in FairyFolk, Kilkenny: 
"It's Saturday"
"It's where everyone gives something to everybody, like a vase or some flowers or some chocolate hearts"
"Or some chocolate cake"
"Where you give your mother something nice, like a picture or a card"
"It's when you tell everyone that you love them".

As you can see Valentine’s Day has some collective meanings for these children, but also some ambiguities! And like every year on the 14th February, this day comes and goes and children take home different messages, a lot of them about love and friendship, which is not a bad thing at all. Apart from that, the 15th February arrives and children have little to remember of the day before, except possible sightings of flowers, cards, or chocolates.


So perhaps this year, we might look to Slovenia’s take on Valentine’s Day, and mark this day with the planting of some seasonal herbs, like Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Flowers like Cyclamen, Helebores and winter pansies or spring and summer flowering bulbs. Children could enjoy the experience of loving and caring for their herbs and flowers for most of the year. Watching them grow and bloom, welcoming spring with all their hearts! This would be a day to remember and love hearts could adorn the pots and planters…and friendships could blossom among the children as they tend to their herbs and flowers!

What are you doing for the 14th February in your setting, we would love to hear from you and perhaps the children?

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

MECPI(1) Creativity(4) Academic Skills(1) Well-Being(7) Craft(1) Exploring(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Oireachtas(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Cognitive development(1) Buddy Bench(1) blog(28) Culture(2) Online(1) Jenga(1) National Awards 2019(1) Learning Stories(7) The Lullaby Book(1) Margy Whalley(1) Glitter(2) Capable(1) Irish(1) CCTV(1) RIE philosphy(1) Adoption(1) College(1) Academics(1) science week(2) Smiles(1) emotions(2) collaboration(1) Traditions(2) Meal time(1) Engineers Week(2) eating(1) First 5(1) Engagement(1) food(1) social media(1) grandchild(1) Inter-generational(1) Titles(1) Health(1) outdoor space(3) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Biting(1) Flowers(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) journey(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Budget 2019(2) Gardening(1) friendships(1) Impact(1) Workplace Relations(3) Maths Week(1) Maria Montessori(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) worries(1) Map(1) Socioemotional development(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Human Resources(1) Shapes(1) Masterclass(2) San Minia(1) Síolta QAP(1) INTO(1) Decision Making(1) Montessori(2) Support(1) risk assessment(1) Snacks(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) Book Club(2) Love(2) Deirdre Rogers(1) dogs(1) Loss(1) environments(1) Engineering(2) Design(1) education(2) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Snack Time(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) outdoors(3) role playing(1) feisty(1) Aistear(108) Traffic Lights(1) refugees(1) First 5 strategy(1) Japan(1) Prexit(1) Laugh(1) Mathematicians(1) Treasure Chest(1) San Miniato(4) Death(1) National Holiday(1) toddlers(3) Mud kitchens(1) conversations(1) Decisions(1) Upcycling(1) parents(5) Growing up Outdoors(1) Photographs(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Patterns(1) Appreciation(1) Stress(2) Scéalta Blog(84) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Sustainability(3) CPD(1) Recycle(1) Learning Story Awards(1) Window(1) Care routines(1) Giraffe(2) Magnavacchi(1) Afghanistan(1) risk(2) routine(2) Winter(1) Magic(1) Awards(2) Self-regulation(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Pobal(1) baby room(1) Intention(1) Painting(1) Feeding(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Nonverbal(1) Party(1) Children's Research Network(1) Visual Impairment(1) National Awards 2018(2) community(5) Potential(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) The Jelly King(1) Trick or treat(1) Childcare(2) Kilkenny(1) scéalta(25) purpose(1) Children's Rights(1) Communications(1) Inspirational(2) European Project(1) Spiders(1) communication(4) experience(1) Easter(1) pets(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Bereavement(1) Educators(1) UN(1) Performing(1) Training(2) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Sequins(1) science(3) interacting(2) Our Little Seed(1) EECERA 2016(1) Mindfulness(2) babies(7) Exercise(1) UD(1) IGL(1) Dance(1) story time(1) Awards 2019(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Sweets(1) Trade Unions(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Childhood(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Builders(1) Story(1) Shoes(1) Playschool(1) Inclusion(3) stories(2) linc(1) SPICE Framework(1) Thank you(1) Albert Einstein(1) supportive environments(2) Graduation(1) Investment(1) Nutrition(1) EM Standing(1) Reggio Children Network(1) UNCRC(1) dining(1) United Nations(1) Self-Esteem(1) Playdough(1) CIT(1) Arithmetic(1) Gratitude(1) Malaguzzi(1) Universal Design(2) relationships(15) Wilenski(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) mushrooms(1) Mantra(1) Routines(1) Laughter(1) Family(1) Learning journals(1) Learning Story(1) Wonder(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Horizon 2020(1) overhear(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Names(1) christmas(8) Seas Suas(1) Grief(1) Breathing(2) Norway(2) Confidence(1) emotional environment(1) Self Help Skills(1) Plants(1) Affordability(1) Exclusion(1) Orla Kenny(1) Interactions(2) animals(2) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Music(3) Through the looking glass(1) Visitors(1) Belonging(3) planning(1) Eritrea(1) Mayo(1) Mo Scéal(1) maternity health(1) Line-ups(1) Home Corner(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) ICBN(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Mount Everest(1) Weather(1) Yoga(1) Queues(1) Leadership(1) DCYA(4) ECCE(6) Supernanny(1) STEM(2) Aldo Fortunati(4) child-centred approach(1) Confident(1) Change(1) respect(5) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) Autism(3) Time Out(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Syria(1) bonds(1) NCCA(2) Motor neuron disease(1) Budget 2018(1) Professionalisation(4) ERASMUS+(3) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Identity(5) educating(1) Cork(1) ReCreate(2) Role play(1) Facebook(1) Interests(1) dublin(2) reading(4) Drawing(2) ECEC(1) Trade union(1) Body Language(1) Wrapping paper(1) Funding(1) Light table(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) PIP(1) value(1) Ceremony(1) Valentine's Day(3) Maynooth University(1) New Appointments(1) Treasure(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) Social Skills(1) documentation(2) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Vertical grouping(1) Graduate(1) Reflective Practice(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Settling in(4) transitions(10) Iraq(1) TOY Programme(1) research(6) books(4) Fabric(1) Little Buddies(1) Vietnam(1) Care-giving routines(1) Performance Management(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) preschool(2) Technology(2) Policy(2) Educator of the Year Award(3) Identity and Belonging(4) early years research(1) Siolta blog(2) AIM(2) listen(1) TRAP(1) ears(1) NAEYC(1) Scents(1) University(1) Blocks(1) Italy(1) HR(1) Diversity(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Snakes(1) Kids Own(1) Learning Stories Award(3) MA(1) Kerry(1) budget(1) Magda Gerber(1) Summer(1) Awards 2018(3) Arts(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Empathy(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Workforce(1) memories(1) Arlene Forster(1) Mealtimes(1) Running(1) dining experiences(1) Environment(2) AsIAm(1) Maths(4) play stories(1) Child mental health(1) Creative(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Santa(2) RTE Investigates(1) Consent(1) Recycling(2) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Community involvement(1) Maternity Leave(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Mental Health(3) Event Guide(1) Staff Motivation(1) Certificate(1) curiosity(3) Penguins(1) Pen green(1) Degree(1) development(8) Advocacy(1) Games(1) Celebrate(1) Qualifications(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Sustainable(1) listening(1) Meet the Members(1) Workplace well-being(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Trigonometry(1) Mark Twain(1) Sleep(1) Xbox(1) Family wall(1) Thanks(1) GDPR(1) Behaviour(3) Positivity(1) Employee(1) Leargas(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Wesco(1) Wendy Lee(2) Administrative Burden(1) Plastic(1) Anxiety(2) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Imagination(3) Leprechauns(1) Mixed age groups(2) Halloween(2) Storytelling(2) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Teamwork(1) under 3's(3) Primary School(2) Obesity(1) Maynooth(1) Twitter(1) Sport(1) curriculum(5) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) trust(3) Challenges(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) educarer(1) early childhood educator(1) Limerick(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) outdoor play(6) Early Years Educators(2) Rituals(1) Independence(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Research Seminar(1) Celebrations(4) Buddies(1) Early Years(1) Study Trip(1) Participation(1) Quality(4) Time(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Brain(1) Whole Group(1) Exit interview(1) Reggio(1) Síolta(104) Favouritism(1) Inter-generational learning(1) Competent(1) play(30) meals(3) Interaction(1) Children(1) Lego(2) Art(6) Iceland(1) Frustrations(1) learning(15) Sculptures(1) Touch(1) Thinking(1) risky play(2) Relaxation(1) Fantasy play(1) Communicating(1)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine